2016 Châteauneuf continues to keep crushing the world with an onslaught of perfect scores. This magnificent vintage, easily considered the greatest in a generation, has hit the wine world like a tidal wave. The latest to create quite the stir is Paul Vincent Avril’s legendary Domaine du Clos des Papes.
If you’re a Châteauneuf collector Clos des Papes requires no introduction. One of the most iconic addresses of the appellation the estate is famous for producing one of the most authentic and long-lived in Châteauneuf.
Under the guidance of Mr. Avril, who is the third generation of the Avril family to lead the estate, Clos des Papes has ascended to magnificent heights. Many believe Mr. Avril’s success lies with his low yields (though 2016 ironically had higher yields than normal for the estate) and his insistence on never using new oak, or filtering.
The 2016 is simply majestic with stunning depth. Mr. Avril compares it to his 2009, but with the structure of 2010–both vintages he refers to as being some of the best ever from the domain. Needless to say, but this is a brilliant, historical vintage from one of Châteauneuf’s best. Buy as much as you can.
2016 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape
“Another perfect wine from this brilliant estate is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which matches the otherworldly 2007. A classic blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah brought up all in old foudre, this beauty's deep purple color is followed by a mammoth bouquet of kirsch liqueur, black currants, blueberries, Asian spices, and garrigue. Full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful, it nevertheless is as graceful as a ballerina on the palate and has ultra-fine tannins, a silky, seamless texture, and a finish that just won't quit. Hats off to vigneron Paul-Vincent Avril!” 100 Points, Jeb Dunnuck.
“Yields are always low at Clos des Papes, but this was Vincent Avril's biggest harvest since 2007, with yields of 25hl/ha. A tasting of various different blends highlighted the part played by each main variety, but the final blend shows a young wine that is already aromatically harmonious, bright and detailed. It's fuller-bodied than an average vintage, deep yet fresh. It has a powerful tannic and acidic framework this year, but the wine is very well balanced and very long, with a sublime freshness. An effortlessly brilliant Clos des Papes. Drinking Window 2024 - 2040.” 98 Points, Decanter